NHL 13: Top-Rated Forwards, Defensemen and Goalies in the Game

John Degroote@john_degrooteCorrespondent IIAugust 14, 2012

NHL 13: Top-Rated Forwards, Defensemen and Goalies in the Game

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    EA Sports plans to release NHL 13, the 21st installment of their long-running NHL series, on September 11.

    Philadelphia Flyers fan favorite Claude Grioux is the cover boy in 2013.

    The EA Sports team has made a ton of improvements that will keep fans that buy the game year after year rushing to the store on release day to pick up their copy.

    These improvements and additions include: True Performance Skating, GM Connected, EA Sports Hockey I.Q., GM Brain, as well as an improved replay system and, the most important improvement, reworked skate spray physics.

    Also, players are now rated on their overall effectiveness, not by their player type. Yahoo's Puck Daddy blog has the full scoop.

    In NHL 12 Parros was an 81 as his rating was based on his player type—enforcer, meaning that he was an above average enforcer. In NHL 13 Parros is an 69 overall based on his skill level as a forward. Chris Neil was an 82 (Grinder) last year, this year he's a 78. With this new overall ratings system, his rating didn't drop as significantly as Parros because he's still a skilled player who can check and score effectively.

    While gamers will be happy to see improvements to arguably the best sports game on the market, the real fun comes when looking at how the EA Sports team rated your favorite players.

    Here are the top-rated players in NHL 13.

Pavel Datsyuk, 95

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    At age 34, Pavel Datsyuk is still among the league's best centers.

    The 2011-12 season will not go down as the best of his career, but what Datsyuk does on the ice cannot be measured on a stat sheet.

    His final stats for the season included 19 goals, 48 assists and a plus-21 rating.

    Datsyuk has been praised as the best two-way center in the game, and his rating reflects that.

    The Detroit Red Wings center showed at many points last year that he can take the puck from you, dangle you with his ridiculous hands and then go top shelf on the other end to light the lamp.

    Datsyuk has through-the-roof ratings in the puck skills department, and rightly so. Datsyuk may have the best set of mitts in the entire NHL.

    Complete Ratings

    Slap Shot Accuracy: 88

    Slap Shot Power: 87

    Wrist Shot Accuracy: 90

    Wrist Shot Power: 86

    Deking: 95

    Hand-Eye: 93

    Passing: 94

    Puck Control: 95

    Acceleration: 93

    Agility: 91

    Balance: 89

    Endurance: 88

    Speed: 91

    Aggressiveness: 84

    Body Checking: 84

    Durability: 88

    Fighting Skill: 70

    Strength: 88

    Discipline: 95

    Off. Awareness: 95

    Poise: 90

    Def. Awareness: 93

    Faceoffs: 85

    Shot Blocking: 87

    Stick Checking: 92

Sidney Crosby, 95

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    Despite playing in only 28 games total last season, Sidney Crosby is tied with Pavel Datsyuk as the highest-rated offensive players in the game.

    When Crosby did play, he was stellar.

    In only 22 regular-season games, he put up 37 points (eight goals, 29 assists). He also had eight points in six playoff games.

    There is no doubt that Crosby is still among the league's elite players, but the question now will be if he can stay on the rink. This is reflected in his ratings by his low durability rating.

    Crosby also has a low discipline rating. Could this be because of the Penguins' playoff series with the Flyers, where Crosby looked more like a pest on the ice starting trouble than a leader?

    Crosby has elite stats in both the shooting and puck skills department, and he'll be a scoring machine for Pittsburgh fans in NHL 13.

    Alex Ovechkin (93), Steven Stamkos (91) and Evgeni Malkin (91) are also among the game's top forwards.

    Complete Ratings

    Slap Shot Accuracy: 90

    Slap Shot Power: 90

    Wrist Shot Accuracy: 90

    Wrist Shot Power: 90

    Deking: 95

    Hand-Eye: 95

    Passing: 95

    Puck Control: 95

    Acceleration: 90

    Agility: 93

    Balance: 89

    Endurance: 90

    Speed: 89

    Aggressiveness: 85

    Body Checking: 85

    Durability: 75

    Fighting Skill: 75

    Strength: 87

    Discipline: 80

    Off. Awareness: 95

    Poise: 90

    Def. Awareness: 95

    Faceoffs: 83

    Shot Blocking: 86

    Stick Checking: 91

Zdeno Chara, 91

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    Zdeno Chara did not take the Stanley Cup home last season, as he did the year before, but he still won the award for most intimidating presence along the blue line.

    The 2012 Norris Trophy finalist has been among the NHL's elite defensemen for sometime, and he is the highest-rated blueliner in NHL 13. Shea Weber (90), Kris Letang (90), Duncan Keith (90) and Ryan Suter (88) round out the top five D-men.

    Chara has retained the hardest-shot title for some time at the NHL All-Star game, consistently clocking in at triple digits. However, his slap shot is only rated 95.

    What does a guy need to do to get a 99 rating?

    Chara had 12 goals and 40 assists last season to accompany a plus-33 rating, third best in the NHL.

    Complete Ratings

    Slap Shot Accuracy: 75

    Slap Shot Power: 95

    Wrist Shot Accuracy: 75

    Wrist Shot Power: 93

    Deking: 77

    Hand-Eye: 77

    Passing: 86

    Puck Control: 86

    Acceleration: 83

    Agility: 83

    Balance: 95

    Endurance: 90

    Speed: 83

    Aggressiveness: 90

    Body Checking: 95

    Durability: 87

    Fighting Skill: 90

    Strength: 95

    Discipline: 70

    Off. Awareness: 85

    Poise: 85

    Def. Awareness: 90

    Faceoffs: 60

    Shot Blocking: 90

    Stick Checking: 90

Ryan Miller, 92

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    Despite not ranking in the top five within any major goalie category last season, Ryan Miller is the highest-rated goaltender in NHL 13.

    Many would argue that the performances of Jonathan Quick, Henrik Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne in 2011-12 would rate them higher than Miller.

    Goalie is arguably the hardest position to rate in NHL 13 because things can change so quickly. The EA Sports team makes changes throughout the year to ratings, so Miller may not stay on top all season.

    Miller had a 31-21 record last year with a 91.6 save percentage and 2.55 goals-against average.

    Lundqvist (91), Quick (90), Carey Price (90), Roberto Luongo (89) and Rinne (89) are the other top netminders in NHL 13.

    Complete Ratings:

    Angles: 91

    Breakaway: 89

    Five Hole: 92

    Glove High: 90

    Glove Low: 91

    Stick High: 90

    Stick Low: 92

    Passing: 85

    Poise: 85

    Poke Check: 87

    Puck Playing Frequency: 86

    Rebound Control: 91

    Shot Recovery: 92

    Aggressiveness: 92

    Agility: 91

    Durability: 87

    Endurance: 88

    Speed: 91

    Vision: 91

Anyone Missing?

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    What do you think?

    Are these ratings appropriate? Who seems too high, or too low. Is there anybody who is not among the top players who should have made it.

    Let us known in the comments below!

    Follow me on Twitter: @john_degroote

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